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Across Lake Superior's North Shore

More interesting road-cuts and outcroppings along North Shore of Lake Superior
Along the North Shore, we drove through mostly healthy transitional forests, these with higher proportions of conifers (cone-bearing plants), and the same the interesting geology evidenced on the northeast side of Georgian Bay. Lake Superior lacks the sand beaches we're used to on Lake Michigan. But its water temperature averages 40F (4+C), so that discourages most swimmers, and some tourism.

The area is very thinly populated. Fishing, mostly in rivers and small lakes, is a major attraction, and lumbering continues in the backwoods. With few consumers, many items are more expensive -- we paid over $5.00 for gasoline, which for the great distances travelled, makes it expensive.

As we approached the western end of Lake Superior, sedimentary rock started to appear, as did agriculture, and prevailing westerly winds. The red rock gave the hint of the iron ore mining prevalent in the area.

Because Lake Superior can be so dangerous, 'safe harbors' have been built. Needless to say, they also provide safe harbor for recreational boating, and an expanded audience for awareness about the increasing invasive species. One harbor had an interpretive exhibit about iron ore mining showing some of the tools used and a sample of taconite, a low grade iron ore that contains about 20-30% iron.

We ended the day in Grand Marais (Great Swamp), Minnesota with plans to continue to Ely tomorrow.
ms 2010-07-03


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